Kashmir Times sealed for writing against abrogation of Article 370

New Delhi: Authorities on Monday sealed the office of the prominent Jammu and Kashmir daily that was allotted to it in a government building, with the newspaper owners claiming that the due process of law was not followed.

The Estates Department sealed the office of Kashmir Times at Srinagar’s Press Enclave.

In a statement, the Press Association condemned the “abrupt sealing” of the Srinagar office of the daily by the Jammu and Kashmir administration.

“According to Anuradha Bhasin, the executive editor of the newspaper, no notice was given for the sealing,” the Press Association statement said.

It quoted Bhasin as saying the government was “targeting her” for speaking against the administration and moving the Supreme Court against media restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre abrogated the erstwhile state’s special status under Article 370 in August 2019.

The newspaper, the oldest English daily in Jammu and Kashmir, is headquartered in Jammu but ran an edition from Srinagar.

The print edition from Srinagar was suspended recently because of a financial crunch but the online edition was being published from the office.

The office operated from government space allotted to the newspaper in 1993, along with some other newspapers and journalists.

Anuradha Bhasin, the owner and executive editor of the Kashmir Times, said no due process was followed. “They came yesterday around 5, the office was working and they asked the staff to come out. There was an argument and my staff asked where the order was but they told them to talk to the higher-ups. They put a lock outside and all our infrastructure is inside,” Bhasin told The Telegraph.

The Press Association demands immediate opening of the Kashmir Times office to allow the journalists to carry on their professional duty, the statement said.

“At the same time the state administration should bring the ‘erring’ officials to book. Law of the land should take its own course and a renowned newspaper office should not be sealed in this way,” it said.

The Press Association is a media body of accredited journalists.